Duolingo Timed Challenges: Complete Guide 2024

Do you believe that to get perfect in a language, you not only need to learn it but to practice it? Well, I truly believe it. Thus, I always look for a platform that helps me to do both. Eventually, Duolingo is the right choice for me. There are a lot of challenges that I can take on this platform. Duolingo timed challenges are one such challenge that has helped me a lot. If you have started using Duolingo, you must have a lot of doubts. But don’t worry. Here, I will guide you step by step on what they are and how to take them.

Quick Takeaways

  • Duolingo Times challenges are the ones in which you will complete the lessons within a given time period.
  • Currently, there are three different challenges under the timed challenges –  XP Ramp Up, Lightning Round, and Match Madness.
  • All these Duolingo Timed Challenges will help you to get around 40XP points if you complete them.
Duolingo Timed Challenges: Complete Guide

What are the Duolingo Timed Challenges?

When I first took the Duolingo timed challenges, I was really confused because I didn’t know what they were. On taking them, I got to know, that Duolingo Times challenges are the ones in which I have to complete the lessons within a given period. They are one of the best ways to earn a good amount of XP points. These challenges are absolutely free. If you are a person who completes these challenges properly, you can earn up to 80XP. Currently, there are three main Duolingo Timed Challenges – XP Ramp Up, Lightning Round, and Match Madness. Further, I have discussed all three Duolingo Timed Challenges in detail-

Types of Duolingo Timed Challenges

Following are the three types of Duolingo Timed Challenges-

1. XP Ramp Up

The first timed challenge that was introduced in Duolingo is XP Ramp Up. I am really a big fan of it. In the XP Ramp-up challenge, you will be following a multi-tier system. There are three levels and in each of the levels, there are three different steps that you need to follow. Every step that I followed gave me some amount of XP points. I completed all the goals of the steps at every level.

By following all the steps in the levels, I get to the highest level. However, the only thing I dislike about it is that it is only available on Saturdays and Sundays. In short, it is available on the weekends only.

2. Lightning Round

Duolingo Timed Challenges: Complete Guide

Lightning Round is another type of timed challenge that is similar to the XP Ramp Up challenge. Again you will have similar kinds of questions like XP Ramp up and follow a similar kind of tier system. The main difference that I noticed for the lightning round was that the tier in the Lightning Round is inside the lessons.

In this Duolingo timed challenge, you will be given 2 minutes to complete 3 levels. If you complete all three levels in this 2-minute gap duration you will get 40 XP points. But what if you are unable to get 1 or 2 levels? If it happens, you will get 5 and 10 XP for 1 and 2 levels respectively. Also, the best part is that it is available on weekdays.

3. Match Madness

It is the latest challenge added to Duolingo’s timed challenges. This exercise is one of the continuous extensions of the exercise – match the pairs. It works similarly to the lightning round and is split into three tiers.

When I took part in it, there were only a few minutes to complete it. In this exercise, I have to match the pairs of 90 words before the time runs out. It helped me to get the full 40XP points. Match Madness is only available during the week and randomly works with lightning rounds.

Important: You will not get this challenge in all of the courses.

How can you get the timed challenges on Duolingo?

To get the timed challenge, you will have to complete a few lessons. Now go to your league section. If you do not complete them, you will get something like this-

Duolingo Timed Challenges: Complete Guide

In the bottom right icon, you will see the option for timed challenge icons. You will have to tap on it. Also, you can see the icon being changed based on which time the challenge is currently going on. If you want to know how much time is left for the challenge, you can view it. They can also be taken on the weekdays.

What is the Timed challenge achievement?

There is a tiered achievement for the time challenges known as the challenger achievement. To check the achievements progress, you can view it in the profile section. When you work through the different tiers you will get more XP Points which will help you to turn into gold. You may also get to unlock some chests for completing these challenges. There are 5 different levels that you get on the Challenger achievements-

  • Level 1 – 40 XP 
  • Level 2 – 120 XP 
  • Level 3 – 400 XP 
  • Level 4 – 1000 XP 
  • Level 5 – 5000 XP

Note: Many users get the updated version of these challenges. They are getting timed start challenges with the new learning path.

What are timed start challenges?

With the new learning path, there are a lot of things that have changed. Not only the course structure but the exercises on it have also changed. They have changed the structure of the challenges. Earlier it was easy to complete them and they also helped me to learn the language. But with the new update, I noticed that they just wasted my time and did not give me more content. The match madness exercise was very and I was able to complete them on time.

There is an additional exercise known as Rapid review. They are very annoying. You will have to complete the lessons in very little time. Also, the questions they have are long. Even if your typing speed is fast, you may not be able to complete them. In short, they will only make you a fast typer.

Duolingo Timed Challenges: Complete Guide

How can you earn XP points from these Duolingo timed challenges?

Having a huge XP score will help you in winning the Duolingo league. If you are in a Duolingo league and want to earn them you can think of taking up the lessons in Duolingo happy hour. However, here are the ways that I used in order to get more XP with the help of timed challenges-

1. Complete the Lightening rounds and Match Madness timed challenges

Completing these challenges will help me to earn XP points in a short period. Both challenges helped me to get 40 XP Points at a particular time which you need to take in a particular period. However, I try using XP ramp-up less. It is because it will take more time to earn XP Points as you will have to get the top tier for it. Also, there is a risk of falling back if you are unable to maintain the tiers. Therefore you must try to focus on Lightening Round and Match Madness. 

2. XP Boosts

Earlier you were able to use these XP boosts in the normal lessons.  However, currently, you can use it with the timed challenges as well. If you are using XP boosts with these Duolingo timed challenges you will be able to earn 80 XP, in very few minutes. 

3. Try to focus on normal typing

There are different types of exercises on the Duolingo platform. You will get exercises like Normal typing, listening, and speaking exercises. I prefer using normal typing exercises over listening and speaking exercises. This is because the listening and speaking exercises are a part of the lightning round which takes more time.

Duolingo Timed Challenges: Complete Guide

Till the time I listened to the question asked in the exercise, I read it fully. Thus, you must focus on the writing exercises to get XP points earlier. However, if your target is to learn the languages you must not do it. This is because, writing, speaking, and listening skills are the pillars of learning a new language. You must know all of them.

4. Remember the reason for using Duolingo

You can use Duolingo to learn different languages but why you want to get fluent in a particular language is really important. There can be several reasons why you may want to learn the language. Thus when you keep the motive behind learning the language in mind you will be able to complete the Duolingo timed challenge on time. It automatically results in getting the XP points.

5. Go for the easy courses

This is not a method I would really recommend to you. But, if your ultimate goal is to gain the XP score, then you can use it. Try to look for the course that you think is easy for you and start doing exercises for it. It will help you to get the time challenge for that course. Within no time, you will earn a chest of XP with you.

Note: If you are already fluent in your targeted language, try to avoid the lightning rounds. It is because you will get tough questions when you get advanced in your targeted language. So you will spend more time typing the answers. It may put you back in the previous league. Therefore, you must try to do them at the beginning of the course.

Suggestion: Whether you are doing a challenge or earning XP, always remember that you are using it to learn the language. Thus, try not to take the stress of earning much. Just, focus on the content of the course.

Which is the best Duolingo Timed Challenge for earning XP Points?

All three Duolingo Timed Challenges offered you a good number of XP scores. However, there is no doubt that getting more XP scores from one timed challenge may be harder than getting them from the other challenge. If I consider the XP ramp-up challenge, it will take more time than others. It was hard for me to get a 40 XP score with it compared to others. Also, if you do not work on weekends, you may not like this challenge much.

Whereas, the lightning round and match madness will help you get the 40 XP score easily within a few minutes. Thus they are much better than the XP ramp-up for earning the XP score. I have used both of them a lot. I will suggest you take up these challenges as much as you can.

Which Duolingo timed challenge is best for learning the targeted language?

All three timed challenges are best in their own ways. I always believe in my instincts and trust myself. Due to this, I love Match Madness. There were rapid-fire flashcards where I had to answer the questions based on them. The lightning round is similar to the match madness test. However, in your lightning round, you can test the actual question rather than the translation of different words. 

As Lightning Round has more than Match Madness, it helped me test the skills that Match Madness couldn’t. On the other hand, XP ramp-up will do a level-up thing. They will test the knowledge more deeply than Lightning Round. Except for it, there is nothing different from the Lightning round.


Duolingo timed challenges are the ones that you need to complete in a specific time period. There are three main three timed challenges that you can take up – XP Ramp up, Lightning Round, and Match Madness. All three exercises are useful in their own way. If you want more XP, choose Lightning Round and Match Madness. It is because they are easier to complete than the XP ramp-up challenge. On the other hand, if you want to focus on content, then try to choose the XP ramp-up challenge. If your end goal is to learn the language, they are useless. Thus, you must not stress about timed challenges.


What is the best-timed challenge in Duolingo? 

Which is the best Duolingo Timed Challenges for you will depend upon your own goal. Further, if your goal is to get the XP points you may think of taking up Lightning rounds and Match Madness.

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